The Rishi(s) and Muni(s) of ancient times and Psychologists, Scientists, Educationists and other experts of modern times, all are of the view that development of the person should start from his childhood because it is difficult to change the nature and character of a person after teens.
According to child psychology, the environment & atmosphere of the family play a major role in inculcating human values, mainly moral and spiritual values in the children. The family plays the most important role in building the character of the child and transform him into a good human being. Joint family system, the presence of elders in the family play the effective role in social and moral development of the children. But today atmosphere of the families somehow has become polluted due to many reasons: one being the disintegration of Joint family system. The environment of family, primary and pre-primary educational institutions leave a strong imprint on the child’s psyche and play a significant role in the inculcation of Human Values specially social, emotional, moral and spiritual values. The conduct & behaviour of elders of the family and teachers influence the conduct & behaviour of the child very strongly. The thinkers and psychologists have laid great emphasis on the creation of such environment & atmosphere in the institutions and the family which is conducive for the inculcation of human values and for all round development of the child’s personality.
The environment & atmosphere of the institution is much more than its physical location and its surroundings. It also includes several other elements like the ambience, social and emotional atmosphere of the institution, the rituals, and conventions and, of course, the programmes conducted at the institution. In true sense the environment of an institution isthe sum total of the influences generated by the above and its setting, its rituals, ideals, the guru(s), pupils, in a word, the overall ethos of the institution where high ideals guide the working of the institution and where teachers/guru(s) work with a sense of dedication, where there is mutual respect, affection and love among all concerned- pupils and guru(s), where children revere the guru and there is intensity in guru-pupil bonding, where children love their institution - in such an environment values are inculcated in the children in a natural way. The Gurukul(s) and Ashrams of the ancient times were examples of such an ideal in practice. The pupils and guru(s) shared a common life in the gurukul(s) and ashrams, situated in natural environment of forests in quest of spiritual perfection and education. A life led in communion with nature provides greater possibilities for moral & spiritual development.
In the modern times it is not possible to establish residential gurukuls in towns and cities. Thus there is a need to create such institutions in each and every corner of the world where environment and atmosphere is nature friendly, holistic and conducive for inculcating moral and spiritual values. The environment and atmosphere of the institution and the personality of the teacher/guru(s) cast a powerful influence on children especially in their spiritual and moral development.
Children have a natural tendency to identify themselves with their parents, other family elders, peers and their teachers/gurus whom they revere. Children adopt them as their personal models for emulation and imitation. The identification with them and hero-worship triggers off the process of imbibing their qualities and initiating them into behaviour, unconsciously, particularly in respect of social and moral perspective & scenario. The conduct and behaviour of the teachers/ guru(s), parents and other family members can influence a child’s behaviour much more than anything else because the children imitate the behaviour of their parents, family elders and guru(s) whom they revere.
In the early childhood, Programmes such as Story telling, Songs, Rhymes, Music, Dance, Lullabies, Puppetry, Comics, Cartoon Strips, Movies, Illustrated Stories, Skits and other dramatized presentations with humans, animals, birds and/or other characters are always a favourite with children. The children have a natural fascination for them. By the age of about 5 years, peer influences become very powerful, Identification with the group, its interests, goals, attitudes, values etc. is an important factor. Good peer groups can contribute to the wholesome development of the group members.
At a later childhood stage the role-playing, participation and other such activities can be useful experiences for imbibing human values and positive attitude. However generalization and conceptualization can start in a systematic way. Stories of role models can also be presented as ideals for emulation. Inspirational talks by eminent persons can be quite productive. Good and logical presentations, participation in discussions and debates, self-evaluation etc. lead to better understanding, so do the visits to historical/spiritual/ religious places. They provide proximity with nature and value-rich situations & activities. It is necessary to experience the values—especially aesthetic and spiritual values like compassion, sincerity etc.
Along with imbibing human values, it is also necessary that the children should be physically healthy, vitally energetic, emotionally pure, having positive thinking, intellectually curious, with sharp grasping power, sociable and tolerant, balanced and free from egoism. Therefore, physical, vital, mental, intellectual, social and spiritual development of children is as important as inculcating human values in their subconscious and their character-building so that when they grow they may face the challenges of life courageously, lead an ideal life and prove useful for the family and the society.
Prayer, yoga, meditation, pranayam and exercise develop physical and mental ability and sharpen memory, intellect and receptive prowess. They also help in the eradication of negative tendencies and ennobling/ improvement of the self. Spiritual programmes and activities like yoga, meditation and pranayam for the development of the physical, mental and intellectual abilities and for sharpening receptivity besides this thrilling & exciting games, outdoor games, celebrating festivals for social & physical development should be organized.
To retain children’s interest and to ensure their involvement in the activities of the institution, it is necessary that programmes and activities in the institution are immensely enjoyable and serve as tools of imbibing human values in their subconscious. The value-rich behaviour can be effectively presented through these programmes and can be followed up with analogous behaviour. Modern technology such as audio-visual presentation also has great potential.
The programmes/activities take care of various factors i.e. age groups, aptitude, ability of the children and culture & traditions of the region.
In the modern times it is not possible like ancient times to establish residential gurukuls in the natural atmosphere in every city. Resources of material education are now available to every one. Hence, in the modern context it has become necessary to make such an arrangement so that a person beginning from his childhood gets a chance of his all round development, character-building and self-elevation also besides the knowledge of material subjects, science and education of technology etc. This task is not feasible with modern education system alone. Therefore, for the all-round and complete development, character-building and self-elevation of the children, it is essential to set up Children Institutes in every city and village, where—
o The environment provided to children is nature friendly, healthy, positive, cheerful and holistic.
o Examplary and ideal Mentors (Gurus) with righteous instinct should be able to inspire children with their conduct and behaviour and have the qualities to becoming Role Model for children.
o Guru-Shishy relation should be intimate and emotional and the children should have faith and loyalty in Guru (Mentor) and rever him.
o Besides the teaching of material subjects (as science, technology, vocation and artistic skill), they should also get acquaintance of culture, yoga, environment etc.
o There is variety of the value rich programmes/activities which children can enjoy. Such programmes/activities be used as tools which may enable the children to imbibe human values and build their character for themselves.
o The programmes and activities should be blissful and entertaining and values should be latent in these programmes and activities. Besides, sports full of exercise and thrill should be organised.
o The programmes and activities should be according to the liking and age of the children and should be interesting and manifold also.
o Children should be able to remove their negative mental tendencies without any effort and following human values becomes part of their nature.
o Yogic, pranic and spiritual programmes should also be arranged to enhance the physical, vital, intellectual and spiritual power of the children.
o Celebration of festivals and cultural programmes collectively should be organised.
o The programmes & activities shall have the inbuilt mechanism by which foundation of modern education would be laid.
o Programmes & activities be organised in such a manner which result in all round integrated harmonious development of children and they become physically healthy, vitally energetic, emotionally pure, intellectually curious and spiritually balanced.
Besides the above, family life is the main source of human values. This is proven fact of Indian traditions. If the value system is practised in the family, the value inculcation in young family members becomes automatic. Therefore it is also essential to create the holistic, lively, healthy, blissful environment and atmosphere in the family which will assist the family members to become cultured, balanced, cheerful, energetic and duty-conscious and remain balanced in the event of odd circumstances. Such atmosphere in the family will develop the love, affection, tolerance, generosity between the family members and would be instrumental in their social, emotional and spiritual development and self evolution. It will also help young generation of the family to imbibe human values and eradicate their negative mental tendencies.
In view of the above aspects, ‘Sanskaram’ has developed & devised a unique methodology by taking the sutra(s) from old scriptures, the process of Sanskar, the methods followed by the Ancient Guru(s) and by blending these with modern technology and scientific & other Innovative methods invented and designed with the assistance of today’s educationists, psychologists, scientists, spiritualists, child experts and learned men of different fields to suit the present social conditions.
In this methodology, there will be No Preaching, No Lecture and No Instructions. The emphasis will be on providing blissful holistic environment and value loaded programmes & activities, rich in entertainment to the children and creating such situation, where children experience the value themselves, so that negative tendencies are eradicated and human values are inculcated in their subconscious, unconsciously.